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They have been prepared by the Home Office in order to assist the reader in understanding the Act. They do not form part of the Act and have not been endorsed by Parliament. The notes need to be read in conjunction with the Act.
They are not, and are not meant to be, a comprehensive description of the Act. So where a section or part of a section does not seem to require any explanation or comment, none is given.
Summary and Background 3. In July the Government published a White Paper outlining its plans for the criminal justice system, from crime prevention through to the punishment and rehabilitation of offenders.
Justice for All Cm focused particularly on reforms to court procedure and sentencing, to make trials faster and to deliver clear, consistent and appropriate sentencing. On these issues the White Paper built on the proposals in two consultation documents: This Act is intended to introduce reforms in these two areas.
It will enable action to be taken to reduce breaches of bail by introducing a new presumption against bail in certain circumstances. The Act is designed to ensure that criminal trials are run more efficiently and to reduce the scope for abuse of the system.
It will reform the rules on advance disclosure of evidence and will allow for judge-alone trial in cases involving threats and intimidation of juries, and paves the way for judge-alone trial in exceptionally long, complex serious fraud cases.
It will ensure the wider involvement of the community as a whole by reforming rules on jury service. Rules on evidence will be changed to allow the use of previous convictions where relevant, and to allow the use of reported hearsay evidence where there is good reason why the original source cannot be present, or where the judge otherwise considers it would be appropriate.
It will enable any witness to give evidence using live links. The Act aims to provide a sentencing framework which is clearer and more flexible than the current one. The purposes of sentencing of adults are identified in statute for the first time, as punishment, crime reduction, reform and rehabilitation, public protection and reparation.
The principles of sentencing are set out, including that any previous convictions, where they are recent and relevant, should be regarded as an aggravating factor which will increase the severity of the sentence.
A new Sentencing Guidelines Council will be established. Serious violent and sexual offenders will be given new sentences which will ensure that they are kept in prison or under supervision for longer periods than currently.
These include intermittent custody and a reformed suspended sentence in which offenders have to complete a range of requirements imposed by the court.
The intention is for the court to be able to provide each offender with a sentence that best meets the need of the particular case, at any level of seriousness, and for sentences to be more effectively managed by the correctional services who will need to work together closely in delivering the new sentences.
The Act also addresses a number of other areas. It contains a number of provisions on drug related offending, including extending to those aged 14 and above the provisions to test persons in police detention and at other points in the criminal justice system for specified Class A drugs. It establishes a new scheme under which the court, rather than the Home Secretary, will determine the minimum term to be served in prison by a person convicted of murder.
It will establish a 5 year mandatory minimum custodial sentence for unauthorised possession of a prohibited firearm.ACJS Awards and Selection Criteria To view ACJS policies associated with ACJS Awards, please consult the.
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Introduction. 1. These explanatory notes relate to the Criminal Justice Act which received Royal Assent on 20th November. They have been prepared by the Home Office in order to assist the reader in understanding the Act.